Driftwood Haiku on the Bronx Riviera

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“Haiku is a way of life,” Mr. Ellis said. “It’s about staying in the moment.” CreditBen Zucker for The New York Times

On a quiet beach on City Island, the small waterfront community off the eastern tip of the Bronx, David Ellis and his 6-year-old son walked up to a piece of driftwood with a poem painted on it. Mr. Ellis read it aloud: “One Love: Giving thanks and praise we are one under the sun spirit of the earth.”

“I wrote this one last summer,” he said. “This survived the winter and snow.”

Nearby, a man cleaned the beach in preparation for Bronx residents who would soon descend on the island, which some call the “Bronx Riviera.” His large German shepherd was leashed to a gate by rope. The man overheard Mr. Ellis and seemed to be familiar with the poem.

“You’ve seen my stuff?” asked Mr. Ellis, 38.

“I come across your stuff all the time,” he said. “I see it when I’m walking my dog on the beach. It’s nice stuff.”

Mr. Ellis then walked down an outcropping of rocks with his son and quizzed him about spirituality. He mentioned one of his poems, and Gabriel recited it by heart: “Golden sand and sun feeling free like the sea gulls glad you’re here with me.” Mr. Ellis was pleased. He recalled how they had once caught a blackfish by the rocks and cooked it with tomatoes.

~~~  READ ON, NICE STORY  ~~~

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“I’ve been writing poetry since I was a teenager,” said Mr. Ellis, who moved to City Island seven years ago. “But everything changed when I came here.” CreditBen Zucker for The New York Times

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ABOUT DAVID ELLIS

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